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You love your reverse osmosis drinking water system, the taste of that crisp and clean tasting reverse osmosis membrane system osmosis water makes your coffee taste better and is great all by itself. But you have had your reverse osmosis system for a while now, is the water you are drinking still as good as it was when you first got your reverse osmosis?
How do you know when to replace an RO membrane? A reverse osmosis membrane should be changed when it no longer is able to reject dissolved solids to waste. This is often indicated by poor or salty-tasting water being produced by the reverse osmosis system.
Signs that you may need a new reverse osmosis membrane.
A reverse osmosis membrane doesn’t simply go bad overnight. It is not likely that you will wake up one morning. Be able to know that your reverse osmosis membrane is no longer filtering your water as it once did.
Usually, a reverse osmosis membrane will lose its ability to remove dissolved solids from your water very gradually. If you drink from your reverse osmosis system on a daily basis, you may not know that the quality of the water has diminished for a very long time.
Often, people don’t realize that the reverse osmosis water is not as it should be until they drink filtered water other than from their own reverse osmosis system.
You may be out for the day and pick up a bottle of water at the store, then when you drink it, you are surprised at how clean and pure it tastes. And then you wonder why it tastes better than the water from your reverse osmosis system at home.
If you do notice that the water that you have purchased seems to taste better than the water that you are used to from your home, bring that bottle of water home with you, and do a side by side taste test with the bottled water, and the water from your reverse osmosis system.
If, when you taste the bottled water, you say “I wish my reverse osmosis water tasted this good”, you may simply need to replace your reverse osmosis systems’ membrane to get water that tastes just as good as the bottled water from the store.
This same kind of situation of noticing better-tasting beverages when out of your home may apply to coffee, tea, iced tea, or even mixed alcoholic drinks.
When eating out, soups, UV water sterilizer gravies, and sauces may taste more pure and fresh because the reverse osmosis water that you have been cooking with at home has a higher level of salt in it than the water used at the restaurant.
How can you be sure that a new reverse osmosis membrane is what you need?
This is very easy to determine! All you have to do is test the water coming from your regular cold water tap, and compare it to the water coming from your reverse osmosis systems’ faucet. This is done by using a Total Dissolved Solids or TDS Meter. Simply turn on the TDS Meter. Dip it into a sample of water from your regular faucet. Your TDS Meter will display a number that indicates the approximate amount of total dissolved solids in the water sample.
Then do the same with a sample from your reverse osmosis drinking water system. A properly working reverse osmosis membrane should remove the majority of the dissolved solids contained in the water being filtered.
Up to 98% in many cases.
In other words, if the TDS meter reads 100 TDS from your regular faucet, it should read as little as about 2 from your reverse osmosis faucet.
My general rule of thumb is that the TDS of the water coming from your reverse osmosis system should be no higher than 15% of the water from your regular faucet.
If your reverse osmosis system is producing water that has a TDS above 15%, you should consider replacing the reverse osmosis membrane to get the quality of water that the system should be producing.
Can a bad membrane make medications taste bad?
If you are taking medication and notice that you get an odd taste in your mouth when taking it that you did not taste before, it may be from an elevated level of salt coming from your reverse osmosis system.
Check with your doctor about possible changes in your medication, and ask if the medication that you are taking may taste different when taken with reverse osmosis water and UV water sterilizer water with a high level of salt in it.
Does a slow flow from my reverse osmosis system mean that the membrane needs to be changed?
This can be the case if your reverse osmosis membrane has gotten clogged due to sediment, hardness, or other particles.
But for the most part, your reverse osmosis should have a sediment filter stage and the water feeding your reverse osmosis system should be free of hard minerals, and sediment.
Check your reverse osmosis water with a TDS Meter regularly to ensure that you are getting the quality water that you expect.
And change your reverse osmosis membrane when you find your reverse osmosis waters TDS is getting up around 15% of your tap waters.
Change your reverse osmosis membrane as recommended!
Most reverse osmosis systems come with a recommended schedule of when to change your filters, and when to change your reverse osmosis membrane. A new membrane is usually not very expensive. Is very easy to change.
If you use very little reverse osmosis water, you may not have to change your systems’ membrane exactly when recommended, but use your best judgment and check the water quality every time you change your filters with a TDS Meter.
If your water has a particularly high TDS of 500 or more, I highly recommend changing your reverse osmosis membrane more often than the manufacturer recommends.
High TDS in the water will cause more clogging and wear on a membrane. This can cause the membrane to slow down the systems water flow, and greatly inhibit its ability to filter out dissolved solids from your water.
Simply put, if your water doesn’t taste like it has been improved by your reverse osmosis system, then the membrane is probably not working as it should.
Keep a log of when you change your filters and membrane so you don’t let your membrane get to the point where it is no longer working correctly.
And finally, test your tap and reverse osmosis water regularly with a TDS Meter to ensure the TDS of your reverse osmosis water is 15% or less than your regular tap water.
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